But it took longer than expected to confirm the result because the final tally for the 187th District was so close.

By: Penny Hummel

On a day that seemed to go the way of Democrats, Republican Carl Mantz bucked the trend of last week's elections when he won.

But it took longer than expected to confirm the result because the final tally for the 187th District was so close.

Mantz gathered with supporters at the Fogelsville Hotel until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, and didn't go to bed until an hour-and-a-half later.

"We were on pins and needles, all of us," Mantz said.

The following day, reports on the winner varied with a local television station declaring Mantz the winner and a radio station saying the seat went to his opponent, fellow Kutztown resident, Democrat Archie Follweiler.

But by the end of the day a mere 279 votes separated Mantz from Follweiler, making Mantz the first state representative from Kutztown.

"I'm just really sad, because I really wanted the job, so I'm just sad," said Follweiler, adding that many people worked hard for him all year. He also said he would not run for state office again.

"I'd like to see our community surmount any differences the campaign may have generated," Mantz said. "I'll certainly reach out to Democrats, Independents and Republicans."

"It was an energetic, vigorous and hard fought campaign," he added. "You always feel you have more to do, but you have a finite time to do it."

Mantz said once he's sworn into office in January, his top priority will be school taxes.

"To me, it's the over-arching issue," he said. "We need meaningful and impactful relief, not Act 1, which was passed in June."

"I'd like to see a tax revenue formula to distribute that funding objectively among all of us," continued Mantz.

He said the Commonwealth Caucus Plan touted by Representative Sam Rohrer is a good starting point.

"Whatever it takes to shake the 102 votes we need to pass," said Mantz. "I'm sure the formula we need is out there."

Mantz said he'll need to resign his position as Kutztown's borough council president before taking the oath of office in Harrisburg.

"That will be forthcoming shortly," he said.

But he's not concerned about council filling his position. He said that two or three candidates were interested, and had applied for a post on council when Follweiler resigned earlier this year.

Contact Penny at plhummel@berksmontnews.com.

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